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Wednesday August 4th, 2021 2:03PM

The Latest: Italy takes field for Euro 2020 final warmup

By The Associated Press
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The Latest on soccer’s European Championship:

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Italy’s players have started coming onto the field to warm up before the European Championship final against England.

A light drizzle is coming down with just over an hour before kickoff.

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England has changed its formation to a 3-4-3 and recalled Kieran Trippier for the European Championship final against Italy.

Winger Bukayo Saka dropped out of the team to accommodate the inclusion of Trippier at right wing back.

Mason Mount will move into the three-man forward line alongside Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane.

The change of system will be regarded as a defensive move by England coach Gareth Southgate. He did something similar for the 2-0 win over Germany in the round of 16.

Italy has selected the same team that started against Spain in the semifinals.

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Italy’s players walked onto the field at Wembley Stadium in street clothes soon after England ahead of the European Championship final.

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Fans outside Wembley Stadium have tried to get into the stadium through a low barrier for the European Championship final between England and Italy.

Stewards and police sought to hold the fans back back as they pushed through barriers.

A Wembley statement says officials “are dealing with an incident that occurred at the outer security perimeter area of the stadium.”

The statement adds that “safety measures were quickly activated in the relevant areas and there were no security breaches of people without tickets getting inside the stadium.”

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England players in sweatsuits have walked around the field at Wembley Stadium to the cheers of their fans before the European Championship final against Italy.

England captain Harry Kane walked out first with his hands in his sweatpants. He looked calm as he took it all in.

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Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic tried to give a diplomatic answer when asked which team he thinks will win the European Championship final.

Djokovic spoiled Italy’s hopes of a double triumph in London when he beat Matteo Berrettini in the Wimbledon final for his 20th Grand Slam title. He was then asked by BBC presenter Sue Barker about an “unbiased view” on how the Euro 2020 final between England and Italy at Wembley Stadium will go.

Djokovic says “you’re putting me in a very awkward position right now. I’m a huge football fan. So I will enjoy the football tonight.”

That answer was at least enough to draw a big ovation from the crowd at the All England Club.

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The England and Italy team buses have arrived at Wembley Stadium about 90 minutes before kickoff in the European Championship final against Italy.

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Thousands of England fans have descended on central London before the European Championship final against Italy.

Bottles and other objects are being thrown and Leicester Square is full of litter like beer cans, empty boxes and plastic bags. So far no violence has been reported but the scenes are chaotic. One man threw a large yellow cone high in the air and as it came down another man headed it like a soccer ball. Police with helmets were seen walking through Leicester Square.

The official fan zone is in nearby Trafalgar Square and thousands more are there. A large contingent of police are on standby.

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The leading contender to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor in Germany’s upcoming election says he is rooting for Italy to beat England in the European Championship final.

Armin Laschet tells public broadcaster ARD that he is “an Italy fan.”

The 60-year-old Laschet says the Italian team has “played great” at Euro 2020 and “they would deserve it” if they win.

England knocked Germany out of the tournament in the round of 16.

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England fans are starting to take their seats at Wembley Stadium ahead of the European Championship final against Italy.

They started coming in with about three hours to go before kickoff. Several dozen Italy fans were allowed in about a half-hour earlier and are sitting behind one of the goals.

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Thousands of fans have created a party atmosphere outside Wembley Stadium before the European Championship final between England and Italy.

A large group of fans set off red and yellow flares and some were banging drums. It started getting rowdy about four hours before kickoff with beer cans being thrown into the air.

Fans started hurling cans at one man who had climbed a tall light pole and he was trying to dodge them. He then slid down like a firefighter to the cheers of the crowd and the pole started to wobble.

Several dozen Italy fans were allowed into the stadium about three and half hours before the start. The normal entry time for supporters is three hours.

England is trying to win a major soccer tournament trophy for the first time in 55 years.

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One more match will decide if Italy or England will be European champion.

The two teams will meet at Wembley Stadium in the European Championship final.

England is trying to win its first title in the competition. It’s also trying to win its first major title since the 1966 World Cup.

Italy won the European Championship in 1968 but has also won four World Cup titles. The most recent was in 2006.

The Euro 2020 final will the last of 51 games in the competition after being delayed a year by the coronavirus pandemic.

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More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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